Afterpains are sharp abdominal (belly) pains that occur in the first few days
after childbirth. Although they may cause some discomfort, afterpains help reduce uterine bleeding and help shrink the uterus back to its prepregnancy size. Afterpains are most
noticeable during breast-feeding. Breast-feeding triggers the release of
oxytocin, which in turn causes the uterus to contract. These pains
usually begin to subside by the third day after childbirth.
If afterpains are severe, your health professional can prescribe a
safe and effective pain medicine.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
November 2, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 02, 2011
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